Welcome to the second annual SOSV Human Health 100. The list captures SOSV’s 100 most exciting companies in human health as of April 2023.
SOSV’s core mission, which we pursue through our IndieBio, HAX, and Orbit startup development programs, is to fund and foster startups that will improve human and planetary health. In addition to the Human Health 100, each year we also publish our SOSV Climate Tech 100.
Those twin missions – health and climate – aim to better human health today and for generations to come, as well as ensure that earth remains a hospitable human habitat. Even though we live in an era of astonishing technological advances such as CRISPR and mRNA, we are also facing civilization-level threats from disease, pandemics and climate change. At SOSV, we believe it has never been more important to apply the energy and genius of founders to addressing those challenges. That is we do every day in our deep tech startup development programs, HAX and IndieBio, in their well staffed and equipped labs and workshops.
This year’s SOSV Human Health 100 shows strong growth in both funding and valuations. About 2/3 of the companies are at the seed stage, 1/3 at Series A or more, and only 2 have reached ‘Growth’ stage (unicorns Opentrons and Formlabs).
The aggregate valuation of the companies on the list is $6.47 billion (up 14% from $5.65B in 2022), and all told the firms have raised $1.42 billion (up 42% from $1B in 2022). SOSV, which invests starting at pre-seed and continues through later stages, has invested $96 million (up 32% from $73M in 2022). Investment outpaced valuation gains this year, likely due to the headwinds facing startup valuations.
This year’s list also welcomes 18 newcomers, who are listed below. It’s important to stress that year-to-year individual companies in the SOSV portfolio experience many ups and downs due to new fundings, regulatory breakthroughs and commercial partnerships. Joining or leaving this list is anything but a surefire indicator of future outcomes. (The 2022 list is available here. )
Note: this table is based on actual funding amounts.
As with the SOSV Climate Tech 100, the diversity and sophistication of our health companies and founders is striking. Nearly 30% of the companies have a woman co-founder. The companies are located in 17 countries; topping the list are the US (59), Canada (9) and the UK (9), followed by France (3). 67% of the startups have at least one PhD co-founder. A total of 52 companies graduated from the biology-centric IndieBio while another 38 hail from hard-tech focused HAX, and five hail from the Orbit program.
SOSV expands its health portfolio by accepting dozens of pre-seed health startups into our programs across a wide range of categories, including therapeutics, diagnostics, assistive robotics, bio-manufacturing, remote care, and more. As the startups progress, SOSV joins their series seed, A and later rounds. That helps account for our strong showing in PitchBook leaderboards for active investors in categories such as healthcare devices & supplies, women’s health, pharma and biotech.
The 2023 SOSV Human Health 100
* Companies without funding amounts are “undisclosed.” Cell left blank to allow for sorting.
When startups finish SOSV startup programs, the SOSV general partners work closely with the founders to find lead investors for their series seed and other early rounds. SOSV usually joins those later rounds. Over the years, several hundred investors have joined financing rounds for the Human Health 100. Several standout as investors in multiple companies on the list, including Temasek, Horizon, True Ventures, Threshold Impact, Khosla Ventures, SoftBank, Particular Ventures, Founders Fund, Entrepreneur First, Berkeley Catalyst Fund, Artesian Capital, 8VC and ZX Ventures. Government-based programs, including the SBIR-STTR in the U.S., Enterprise Ireland, the European Innovation Council, and Innovate UK, are also frequent backers.
The 18 New Startups
Cellens: Medical device company that provides clarity and focus on cancer detection via a non-invasive urine-based test using high-resolution nanoscale imaging and proprietary machine learning.
Chronos DX: High-performance, low-cost, scalable bioassay technology for diagnostics, drug screening and development. It detects biomarkers including cell-free DNA, micro RNA, proteins, exosomes and metabolites with sensitivity down to single-molecule detection, and is capable of in-line and in vivo monitoring of biomarkers.
Dandelion: Training AI models that can design organ and cell-type-specific drug delivery vehicles via Lipid Nanoparticles (LNPs) able to carry mRNA molecules.
Laguna Bio: Drug discovery platform that activates and expands the innate immune system against cancer. Laguna’s technology expands and activates gamma delta T cells up to 10,000x better than other known approaches.
Melio: Delivering pathogen testing at the speed of software with one test for all pathogens. Melio brings its product to the vulnerable newborn population, where, for the lack of better diagnostics, 150 babies are given antibiotics for every 1 that truly needs it.
Mendel: Mendel is a hybrid intelligent engine (human/AI) that can combine a patient’s medical records with the genetic profile of their cancer to recommend personalized cancer treatments still in the trial phase. It can also pair a patient with oncologists who have a track record matching the patient’s cancer.
MiDocOnline: Latin America’s leading app for video consultations with trusted medical professionals anywhere in the world.
Mimio: Supplements that produce the same cellular effects one would get from fasting—without having to fast. Mimio’s cellular repair and regeneration mechanisms have been demonstrated to work in humans through clinical trials.
Ostoform: Products to improve skin conditions for people who use ostomy bags. Ostoform was born from a need to improve skin health for the ostomates who must regularly cope with appliance leaks and the discomfort of damaged peristomal skin.
PONS: AI-based, mobile ultrasound solution for remote medical imaging. Enabling hospitals to provide value-based continuous care to their outpatients.
Prolific Machines: Prolific offers world class, lowest cost production of antibodies, cell therapies, and iPSCs, because their system needs zero growth factors or recombinant proteins.
Protonintel: Biomarker monitoring to manage chronic disease and save lives – measuring in particular real-time potassium (K+) in the interstitial fluid of the skin continuously for heart and kidney care. This data helps manage medications, diet, or other treatment options to improve health.
Reach Neuro: Restoring movement in people with chronic strokes and other neurological disorders. It uses an implantable neuromodulator to stimulate the spinal cord, working with the nervous system to restore motor function in the upper limbs.
Samphire Neuroscience: Wearable for women who want to be and feel productive regardless of their cycle-related challenges.
Sequential Skin: Personalized skincare solutions with at-home test kits using advanced genetic sequencing technology to understand how genes, skin microbiome, and environment interact to define the unique needs of one’s skin.
Untap: Building on-site PCR systems to test and surveil wastewater, which will help prevent the next pandemic.
Wayfinder Biosciences: Using computational design to program RNA logic, unlocking the future of biomanufacturing with nano-scale sensors that light up to discover cells thousands of times faster than current technology.
XN Health: Medical device company helping mechanically ventilated patients wean off the ventilator faster, through phrenic nerve stimulation.
Please note that the funding amounts reported are limited to public information available on Crunchbase and not always accurate.
Please think about how you, too, can apply more energy, funding, and time to solve humanity’s most pressing challenges. If that involves working for, working with, or investment into one of these startups, please feel free to reach out directly to these startups or contact SOSV.